Nadal roars to victory over Thiem in Brisbane singles comeback

Nadal looked razor sharp during his latest meeting with Thiem in a rematch of their 2018 and 2019 French Open finals

By Reuters

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Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his match against Dominic Thiem. — AFP
Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his match against Dominic Thiem. — AFP

Published: Tue 2 Jan 2024, 3:13 PM

Rafael Nadal marked his singles comeback after being out injured for nearly a year with a convincing 7-5 6-1 victory over Austrian former world number three Dominic Thiem in the Brisbane International first round on Tuesday.

The 22-times Grand Slam champion had arthroscopic surgery last June after injuring his left hip flexor during his second round defeat by Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open in early 2023.

Nadal returned to competitive tennis in the new season on Sunday and crashed to a doubles defeat while partnering retired veteran Marc Lopez but showed glimpses of his top form ahead of the Jan. 14-28 Melbourne Park major.

The 37-year-old looked razor sharp again during his latest meeting with qualifier Thiem in a rematch of their 2018 and 2019 French Open finals which he won, as he ramped up the pressure and claimed the opening set with a break.

Roared on by fans inside a heaving Pat Rafter Arena, Nadal grabbed an early break in the second set with a superb backhand pass and barely looked back as he racked up a 5-1 lead before closing out the match on serve.

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